Written by Lauren Schmidt Hissrich and Douglas Petrie
Directed by Peter Hoar
Several months ago, Alexandra went to a Turkish restaurant. While there, Mr. Panama Hat brought her news that they’d acquired the Black Sky. Now we get to see what happened with Elektra in that giant urn. Pretty much as suspected, sticking her in the urn is part of the process of bringing her back to life like how Harold was brought back. They used the last of their bringing-back-to-life resources on Elektra. Then Alexandra nursed Elektra back to health and sanity (minus all her memories), indoctrinated her for the Hand, and got her into top fighting form. She’s been their assassin ever since.
In the present, Alexandra has a chat with Stick. She wants the location of Danny Rand. He’s not telling her jack. He beats both her and Elektra while chained to a pole, then slices his own hand off to escape. Well, at least he’s consistent about one hand-slice per season he appears in. (Would that sword not have cut the chain?)
Matt and Jessica! Jessica is predictably belligerent, and Matt’s attempts to be charming and personable are completely wasted. He tries to get her to tell him about anything unusual about her case by telling her he knows about her abilities and about Kilgrave. She’s even less interested in his help than she was before. She leaves, since the police don’t actually have anything on her. He follows.
Luke is icing his face after getting punched by Danny. He’s worried about the kid he left behind. Claire is just glad he’s not on his way to prison again. Claire knows who hit Luke! She immediately picks up the phone to call Danny. Cut to Luke standing in the dojo, glaring at Danny, both of them with their arms crossed. Danny’s explanation of his abilities is hilarious with Luke as an audience. Danny, Claire, and Colleen slowly manage to bring Luke on board with the fight against the Hand. The girls leave with a stern admonishment that the guys are to talk.
Jessica visits the widow of the man she was supposed to find. She doesn’t have any ideas about why he was on the run, or who from. He got an award for architectural design. Jessica leaves when well-wishers come knocking. She knows she’s being followed. She manages to shake Matt, and now she’s following him! She sees who it is and is not pleased. Matt ducks into an alley and ditches his cane and glasses. Starts parkouring up to a roof. Jessica takes pictures of him, but then she gets a call from a lead.
Danny and Luke are talking about their abilities and how they got them. Off in the other room, Claire and Colleen approve of how the conversation is going. Luke still isn’t happy with Danny beating up Cole (the kid he was trying to help). Danny thinks it’s fine to beat up anyone working for the Hand, but Luke doesn’t think it’s fair to whale on disadvantaged kids with few other options. Luke makes very good points. So, aim for the actual leaders of the Hand, not the grunts. Luke leaves before it can become clear that Danny thinks he has a point.
Luke visits Cole in jail. It’s probably not going to go well, since he was pretty obviously on a clean-up crew for a pretty nasty hit. Cole really doesn’t want to talk about who hired him, because they’ll both be screwed. Luke name-drops the Hand. Cole isn’t talking, and he’s pretty certain he’s going to die. Danny is meditating after Luke’s departure. He thinks Luke’s right. He shouldn’t fight street-level operatives. He wants to try using Rand to help. He goes to the building. Ward is out. The lady Danny talks to has heard about the Hand and she’s scared. She cross-references holdings from all the cities Danny and Colleen went to on their Hand hunt. A bunch of shell companies made deposits to Midland Circle Financial. She gets them the address.
Jessica is visiting an architecture firm, pretending to be a potential client looking to have a “pragmatic utopia” style office built for her company. She gets the specs on Midland Circle, designed by John Raymond. She bails as soon as he steps out to get info on another building for her. In Harlem, Luke finds Cole’s mom, who is the lady Luke saved from the falling streetlamp. Luke promises to deal with the bad people Cole was working for. He gets a box off a shelf for her, and it has a roll of cash in it with a Midland Circle parking voucher. She gets a call that Cole died in an accident.
Colleen is alone at the dojo when Stick shows up and collapses, still bleeding from his stump. He’s looking for Danny. Danny is at Midland Circle. He asks to meet with the CEOs of Midland Circle Financial. He gives them a speech-threat, and in comes Alexandra. Down on the street, Jessica walks in, Matt hot on her heels. He tries to warn her off messing with these people. She doesn’t appreciate his interference. He doesn’t appreciate her having pictures of him parkouring. He breaks her camera. Upstairs, Danny explains that his company is taking the Hand down. Alexandra is disdainful and one of the suits pulls a gun on Danny.
Down in the lobby, Matt hears the gun. He steals Jessica’s scarf to use as a mask and starts making his way to the penthouse. All the suits in the penthouse are martial artists. Danny fights his way through them, but there are a bunch of guys with tranq guns. Danny might be about to lose when Luke busts through the door. Guys with machine guns come, and Luke shields Danny.
Matt and Jessica are on their way up. Single-shot hallway fight! All four of them in one place! Jessica and Luke briefly explain pleasantries and pass on explaining the new guys to each other. In comes Elektra in her fancy ninja costume. They fight their way through the many goons there. Matt fighs Elektra, who punches him through a plate-glass wall. Eventually, he recognizes her when she makes a sound, and she hesitates. Danny arrives in time to punch her sword to shards and send her through the wall. They skedaddle and get into the elevator with Luke and Jessica.
Aaaaaargh this was so much fun I don’t even have words. Danny and Luke fighting together, Jessica and Matt riffing off each other, all four of them punching dudes in a hallway fight? So freaking satisfying to watch.
Things I Liked
Heh, sure is nice for Matt that his nice ordinary case from Foggy led to another round against the Hand. Seems like deliberate narrative symbolism that there’s no escaping his “other life.”
It is seriously a delight to watch Jessica work, and it is going to be so much fun to watch her continue to react to Matt and even more so to Danny.
Luke’s chat with Danny is so great. It pretty much hit all the points of where Danny’s characterization has been weak and uninteresting, so hopefully that means the writers are gonna make those go away. And Cole’s mom’s line, “You can’t admit when you’ve done something right?” Spot-on about Luke. He is extremely humble and doesn’t like attention, so he’s not the type to take credit for anything, particularly when so many things are going wrong.
Okay I stand corrected about Danny not having a character arc, because he just had a more coherent and complete one of those in this episode of a show he shares equally with three better-developed characters than he had on the entire first season of his show. He started the episode off as a billionaire who was happy to go around punching dudes on the street, then got verbally knocked on his butt by Luke and realized there was a lot more he could be doing with the billionaire part of the equation. He then made use of his resources and got straight to the top of the Hand, where punching dudes is much more effective. Also, he went from disliking Luke to fighting alongside him like a seamless unit, which was glorious.
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.